We bought the KitchenAid Architecture Series II warming drawer when we remodeled our kitchen instead of the buying a second oven and have owned it for several months. We looked at our cooking habits and found we only saw the need for a second over during major holidays but could think of many times we used the oven to keep food or plates warm when preparing a big breakfast. As a busy family it is great for keeping dinner warm for latecomers and pizza hot during family movie night.
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A warming drawer is just a large metal drawer similar to the ones under stand alone stoves with the exception that this drawer has a heating unit. The heating unit and insulation is not as much as for the oven so there are things we can fit in the drawer that don't fit into the oven. The drawer is slightly wider and deeper than an oven but less than 1/2 the height. It is tall enough to put in a corningware dish with a lid and big enough to fit 2-3 standard pizza boxes. The drawer can also be used as a slow cooker, and for slow roasting meats. I haven't done any of those yet, predominately because the warming drawer does not have any sophisticated controls such as a timer or automatic shut-off. The drawer only has controls for general temperature selection: Hi to Lo, or slow cook. There is a slide for humidity control like in a vegetable drawer but I just keep it in the middle. Another point is that the drawer is not easy to clean, there is no clean cycle, lining it is not recommended and you can't use oven cleaner.
The significant benefit of the warming drawer over a second oven is it that the warming drawer provides an energy savings since it limited to how hot it can be set to and consumes approximately 1/4 of the energy it would take to use the oven for the same purpose. The energy savings comes from the fact that the warming drawer slowing rises to temperature while an oven in the preheat phase may exceed internal temperatures of 500 until it reaches the desired temperature. I personally haven't seen the energy savings as now that we have it, we use it several times a week particularly in the winter months. We are looking forward to using it in the summer months in conjunction with outdoor parties and grilling since we can use it to keep the food warm while keeping the house cooler than if we used the oven.
It is important to note that warming drawers are not unfortunately significantly cheaper than a second oven and can cost as much, if possibly not more than the second oven because they are considered more a niche appliance and are rarely discounted as they usually have to be special ordered and require adjustment to your cabinet design.
When planning for installation, the warming drawer is shorter than an oven and can be stacked with a built-in microwave and oven for convenience or installed in lieu of a lower cabinet in another location such as the kitchen island. Stacking the appliances saves space but you do have put the warming drawer low in order to keep the microwave an easy height to use. This can work in your favor if you are using the warm drawer to cook or keep warm heavier dishes such as casseroles or roasts.
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